Both single dose and short term diuretic treatment adversely affect maximal exercise capacity and the duration of prolonged submaximal exercise. However, insufficient data are available to establish the effect of long term diuretic treatment on exercise capacity. beta-Blockade reduces maximal aerobic power by approximately 7%. In addition, the capacity for prolonged submaximal exercise appears to be markedly impaired in normotensive and hypertensive patients, particularly when nonselective beta-blockers are prescribed. Fewer data are available for other drugs, but, whatever the mechanism of vasodilation, drugs that reduce systemic vascular resistance do not seem to have any effect on exercise capacity.